Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Do You Provoke?

Rom 14:7, “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.”

Life is not just about you. 
Your life is all about how you live before God and other people. 
Someday each one of us will stand before Jesus Christ and He will be our Judge.  There is coming a day when the opportunity to be saved from sin will be past.  When Jesus comes the second time, He will come as our Judge.  The day of salvation will be past.  The day of judgment will be at hand.  Each of us will give an account of the attitudes and actions we have done in this body. 

My question to you today is:  What do you provoke in others who know you and who meet you? 
Do you provoke people to anger and wrath?
Do you provoke people to lust after the flesh?
Do you provoke people to love and good works?

Hebrews 10:22-25
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

In every conversation and activity it should be our constant purpose to provoke others to love and good works.  We should stir them up to be good and do good.  We should never provoke another person to think evil or do evil.  Our clothing, our speech, our activities, our attitude and countenance should be of such a holy nature as to cause others to want to be holy. 

The dictionary definition of the word “provoke” means to:  stimulate or give rise to a reaction or attitude.  What do you provoke in others? 

Exodus 23:20-22
20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.
22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

Under the Old Testament covenant, the leader of God’s people could be provoked to act contrary to the perfect will of God.  The people were advised not to do that.  But they did provoke Moses and caused him to become so frustrated and angry that he disobeyed the instructions of God. 

Number 20:1-3
1 Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.
2 And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
3 And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!

Numbers 20:8-13
8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him.
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord,

Moses lost the privilege of leading the children of Israel into the Promise Land.  He allowed the people to move him to anger and he appeared to be the power by which the water came forth from the rock. 

James 1:19-20
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Some ministers have allowed the people to frustrate them like Israel did to Moses.  In their anger and wrath they have poured out the judgments of God upon the offensive behavior and the guilty person.  In their failure to wait upon God and let the Holy Spirit bring divine condemnation upon the soul of the transgressor, they have themselves condemned and cast the unruly person out as sinners. 

There is no excuse for a sanctified, spirit filled, child of God to allow another person to provoke him to unholy conduct.  God’s grace is sufficient to enable us to live holy regardless of our circumstances. 

Ephesians 6:4, And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21, Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Some fathers are so unwise to purposely provoke their children to anger because they think it will make their sons more capable of bravery and self-defense.  We should provoke our children to love and good works.  We should cause them to think about living holy, being good, loving those who have problems and are not so loveable.  We need to stir up within our children the attitudes and conduct of compassion, good deeds and kindness. 

Matthew 20:20-24
20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

Before the day of Pentecost and the infilling of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were provoked to manifest great displeasure and indignation at the request of James and John and their mother.  They were allowing their human emotions to rise up to a level of strife and contention to stand against their fellow disciples. 

After the day of Pentecost, we do find Paul and Barnabas having a strong disagreement.  However, a close study of the word “contention” in this passage indicates that the frustration and exasperation which they felt did not rise to the level of indignation and condemnation which was previously experienced.  Paul and Barnabas did not become adversarial or spiritually divided.  The emotions of anger and frustration are not sin; but what we allow those emotions to provoke within our hearts is the critical issue.


What do you provoke, and what do you allow others to provoke in you?

Monday, April 21, 2014

CARNAL NATURE vs HUMAN NATURE

One reader has asked the following question, which I will endeavor to answer with this post:
I don't understand the difference between the "carnal nature" and "human nature." The two seem to be synonymous terms. People (humans) sin by nature. Dogs bark, cats meow, and people sin. While willful sin may be overcome by Sanctifying Grace, in our natural state (minus the Divine), we sin because we are sinners.

I like Q&A sessions. I like studying the Word of God. I appreciate people who are sincerely seeking the will of God for their life. I fear that over-confidence that binds my allegiance to the doctrines of men to the determent of divine revelations. It is my strong and firm belief that until we understand, acknowledge and ask for the Holy Spirit to fill our souls and purge out every carnal connection to the "old man" and the "root" of pride and selfishness, we will not see the power and glory of God resting upon His children. God cannot and will not put His approval upon error, for in doing so He would justify it.

When a person repents of their sins and receives forgiveness and pardon from Jesus Christ they are “born of the Spirit”.  They have the “mind of Christ.”  They are holy.  They become qualified to receive the Holy Spirit.  They have the Holy Spirit with them but not yet indwelling in them.  See John 14:17, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know himfor he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

This justified condition is made possible by faith, by grace, by the blood of Jesus Christ, by the calling of God the Father and by Holy Ghost conviction of sin.  All three persons of the Trinity are at work in the salvation and redemption of the soul.  The full plan of salvation has been designed by God and must conform to the divine operation of God set forth in the Holy Scriptures.  God has designed these certain steps in the work of salvation.  It is not the prerogative of man to attempt to form any other foundation for salvation than that which is set forth in the Holy Bible. 

We can easily identify the sequential steps of the plan of salvation. 
1.   The calling of the Father
2.   The revelation of Christ by the Holy Spirit
3.   The conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit
4.   The guiltiness of the conscience
5.   A broken and contrite heart
6.   True repentance with godly sorrow
7.   Faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ
8.   Divine forgiveness, mercy
9.   Divine pardon and justification

These are the steps and conditions upon which true salvation is established.  Through it all, the love of God is working to reconcile the sinner to God.  The attitude and purpose of the heart is known by God.  He that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

A person’s relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost begins with justification and it is perfected in sanctification.  After a person has believed in Jesus Christ and received the mind and Spirit of Christ, it is needful that the new convert also receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  The infilling of the Holy Spirit is subsequent to being born again.  This spiritual fact is clearly set forth in the scriptures. (See Acts 8:5-17)

Justification and sanctification do not occur simultaneously.  They do not both happen in the same instant of time.  The space of time may be short or long, depending upon on the spiritual instruction and understanding of the believer.  The new Christian convert has the Holy Spirit with him but not yet in him, until he is sanctified which is synonymous with being filled with the Holy Spirit or being baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus made it very clear that the world (i.e. a sinner) cannot receive the Holy Spirit.  First, they cannot because they do not know the Holy Spirit.  Second, their heart is defiled and the Holy Spirit will not enter a defiled temple.  The sinner’s heart must first be cleansed by the blood of their sin sacrifice which is Jesus Christ.  

Genesis 3:13-15
13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

This short historical testimony, presented to us by Moses, teaches us that what happened in the Garden of Eden has had a spiritual affect upon every descendant of Adam and Eve.  God has allowed Satan, our ancestral enemy, certain liberties to influence the thoughts and intents of the heart of every person born into this world.  The “seed” of Adam and Eve shall bruise the head of Satan.  He is under our feet.  By the mercy of our God, we can have victory over all the power and temptations of Satan.  However, Satan will “bruise our heel.”  We will be hurt by Satan, but we must not be overcome by him.  For this cause the scriptures saith, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23).  When a person reaches the age where they know that they have been living a selfish, proud, sinful life, they will be visited by the Holy Spirit calling them to repentance.  This spiritual enlightenment usually occurs as a response to the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  By the foolishness of preaching men shall be saved. 

Psalms 41:9, “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”

Satan desires to overcome every person and put them under his heel.  God wants us to overcome Satan and keep him under our heel.  Satan will bruise you before you receive the grace of salvation.  You should bruise him by putting his head under your heel. 

Galatians 3:21-22
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Yes, every person has sinned and come short of the glory of God.  We all need a Savior.  I have been saved by faith and obedience.  I continue to be saved by the grace and help of God.  I have been perfected by the fiery baptism of the Holy Ghost.  I continue to grow in the perfecting of grace and knowledge by the continuous help of the Holy Spirit. 

The carnal nature is referred to in the scriptures with such terminology as “old man”, “Adam” and “foolishness.”  The carnal nature is a spiritual defect which always accompanies the act of willful sin.  When a holy, sanctified person commits willful sin, his nature becomes corrupted as did Adam and Eve’s nature at the time of their original sin.  This corrupted nature can only be healed by the double cleansing cure of justification and sanctification according to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The consequences of sin are always the same; a defilement of a pure heart and broken fellowship with God.  The effectual works of New Testament salvation are always the same; forgiveness of personal sin and restoration of a holy and intimate fellowship with God.

Some people have had difficulty in understanding the difference between the carnal nature and the human nature.  The carnal nature is exceedingly different from the human nature. The human nature is composed of emotions and senses and intellectual abilities. The carnal nature is an inherited propensity to disobey and rebel against the authorities ordained by God.  The carnal nature is opposite of the divine nature.  (2 Peter 1:4). 

The Apostle Paul records his enlightenment concerning the carnal nature in Romans 7:9-21.  In his carnal state, he could not do what he wanted to do.  And the evil he hated is what he did.  But, then he met Jesus on the Road to Damascus and was converted having believed and committed himself to obey the voice of Jesus Christ.  Later, Paul was prayed for by Ananias and he received the Holy Spirit.  In Acts chapter 8 he tells us about the victorious life of living after the Spirit instead of after the flesh. 

The carnal nature is referred to by Adam Clarke (1762-1832) in his commentary on Romans 7:25 (second paragraph) as “inbred sin.”  This term and the term “inherited sin” have caused some confusion when teaching people the understanding and necessity of a second cleansing work of sanctification.  Truly the carnal nature is not imputed by God as sin to the young child whom has no understanding of this condition.  The carnal nature is not sin, but it is the condition of every child born into this world to act and be motivated by selfishness and pride.  Thus, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  And this is also why Jesus was not conceived by the seed of a man but by the power of the Holy Ghost.  (Matthew 1:20).


This carnal nature is clearly evident in the child who has not yet learned to submit to the authorities in his life. I do not teach that sanctification, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, brings a person to a state of infallibility or beyond temptation. Jesus was perfect in every sense and yet He was tempted. Temptations are not sin. Yielding to the temptations of Satan to disobey the laws of God is sin. However, I would emphasize that a sanctified person does have grace to resist and overcome every carnal, fleshly desire which would draw him away from his obedience to God. The carnal mind is the conduct of the carnal nature. It is suppressed by receiving the mind of Christ, which is the grace of God received in the new birth. The carnal nature must be purged. It is not purged at the time of the new birth. It is purged at the fiery baptism of the Holy Ghost. This is why there are two altars and two applications of the blood of the sin sacrifice in the Old Testament Tabernacle. This is typified by the two rooms in the Tabernacle, the Holy Place and the Holiest of Holies.

Psalms 51:1-7
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

In verse 5 David recognizes the condition of his soul when he was born into this world.  His mother did not conceive him by some evil or immoral act.  His mother’s moral state was not the message which David was highlighting.  He was referring to his carnal nature which was present from his birth.  

Proverbs 22:15  Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

This “foolishness” is a reference to the carnal nature.  It is present from birth.  This carnal influence controls the actions and attitudes of the child.  As the child matures and comes to the “age of accountability” he will be visited by the Holy Spirit who will reveal his selfish condition and cause conviction and guilt to stir the heart of the child to repentance. 

Isaiah 7:16, “For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good,”   This verse recognizes the nature of a child to do evil before he reaches the age of accountability to know to choose to do good.  Notice that this scripture does not say that the child does good until it learns to do evil.  Evil is present first.

John 16:31-32
31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

Jesus knew that the disciples were still under the influence of a carnal nature which has a strong self-preservation defense.  Jesus told them, “ye shall be scattered” because He knew that even after 31/2 years of Christ’s ministry, if carnality is not removed it still wins over grace.  Grace will not win over willful sin without the soul's repenting.  Grace will not win over carnality without the soul’s submission. 

Romans 8:1-9
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

1 Corinthians 3:1-4
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

1 Corinthians 15:16-22
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Ephesians 4:17-24
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

The “old man” is corrupt by means of the carnal nature which bears the fruit of deceitful lusts.  The “new man” is restored by regeneration, a renewal of purity and holiness made possible by the two cleansing works of grace.  The first work being the cleansing of the heart of personal sins.  The second work being the purging of that very nature which leads to the corruption of the soul of man. 

Colossians 3:8-10
8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

How old is the “old man”?  He was born in the Garden of Eden when Eve disobeyed the counsel of her husband who had told her that God had commanded them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Eve was first in the transgression and then Adam followed her.  They fell from their holy state in which they were created in the image of God.  They became sinners and through the curse of God all mankind have followed them in their disobedience to the authorities in their life.  When Seth was born to Adam and Eve, the scripture teaches us that he was born in the image of Adam and not in the image of God. 

Hebrews 12:1
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

“The sin” and not just “a sin” is the subject of the Hebrew writer.  There is a definite sin which doth so easily beset every man, woman and child.  It is the work of the carnal nature.  It is universal, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. 

James 3:5-6
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

The “course of nature” is the carnal conduct of the generations of mankind.  It is the stirring up of the carnal nature and bringing under condemnation the conscience of the soul. 

Romans 15:1-6
1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We then that are strong in the grace of the indwelling Holy Spirit must live a sacrificial life with the single purpose of bringing people to Jesus Christ.  We must suffer persecution and opposition with the grace of perfect love and patiently labor for the rescue of the perishing.  We are not easily offended.  We do not exercise dominion over each other like the leaders of the world have always done.  We are not sent to condemn the world but that the world of sinners may find truth in the grace of full salvation.  If we have the mind of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we will be like our Master and Redeemer in this world. 

Hebrews 7:18-27
18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

The Mosaic Law could not make those men and women perfect.  Jesus brought to us a better covenant, which included not only forgiveness of sins (justification); but also the infilling of the Holy Spirit (sanctification).  The doctrine of a second cleansing in the baptismal fire of the Holy Ghost is the real power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.   Satan works continually to prevent the Christian covert from experiencing this vital cleansing work of grace. 

 Historically, the false doctrine of “one cleansing”, the denial of an inherited carnal nature, dates back to the Socinians in the 16th century, the German Count Zinzendorf in the 18th century and certain false minister of the Sixth Seal Church in the early 20th century.  The church of God and its true ministers have always rejected this doctrine and held to the firm belief that the plan of salvation is comprised of two separate and distinct works of grace called justification and sanctification which produces the unity, the power and the glory of the church.  Without the infilling of the Holy Spirit the church will be hindered by division, spiritual weakness and moral shame.  When certain ministers began to teach this doctrine in 1971, the fruit of it was the same as in the past ages.  It was not a new revelation of truth; it was a recurrence of an old heresy.  Carnality will always produce division, spiritual weakness and moral shame. 


If you do not believe this message: Only the Holy Spirit is able to reveal truth to you. I cannot because I have no validity in your life. Regardless of the types, symbols and examples which we can array to witness to the necessity of a second cleansing you will not accept it. You have been taught to believe what your teachers have taught you. Your respect for your teachers hinders you from accepting or seriously considering an opposing position. I am not judging your relationship with God; however, I must warn you that you have a serious flaw in your belief on this subject. I pray that you will earnestly seek the perfect will of God for your soul.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Response to Anonymous' questions

This blog is in response to Anonymous who asked the following question on my last blog on the subject of sanctification.

Bro. Jim, 
Are you implying that a born again believer does not receive the Spirit of God? We all know and believe that Christ was given the Spirit without measure; but are you teaching that a person born again of the Spirit, has not received the Holy Spirit in the new birth?? Rom 9:9? Are you teaching a person can be right with God and not have the Holy Spirit? 

Romans 9:9 is not relative to this subject, so I suppose Anonymous must have given the wrong scripture location.  My response to these questions follows:  

When a person repents of their sins and receives forgiveness and pardon from Jesus Christ they are “born of the Spirit”.  They have the “mind of Christ.”  They have the Holy Spirit with them but not yet indwelling in them.  See John 14:17, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

This justified condition is made possible by faith, by grace, by the blood of Jesus Christ, by the calling of God the Father and by Holy Ghost conviction of sin.  All three persons of the Trinity are at work in the salvation and redemption of the soul.  The full plan of salvation has been designed by God and must conform to the divine operation of God set forth in the Holy Scriptures.  God has designed these certain steps in the work of salvation.  It is not the prerogative of man to attempt to form any other foundation for salvation than that which is set forth in the Holy Bible.  We can easily identify the sequential steps of the plan of salvation. 
1.   The calling of the Father
2.   The revelation of Christ by the Holy Spirit
3.   The conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit
4.   The guiltiness of the conscience
5.   A broken and contrite heart
6.   True repentance and godly sorrow
7.   Faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ
8.   Divine forgiveness, mercy
9.   Divine pardon and justification
These are the steps and conditions upon which true salvation is established.  Through it all, the love of God is working to reconcile the sinner to God.  The attitude and purpose of the heart is known by God.  He that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
A person’s relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost begins with justification and it is perfected in sanctification.  After a person has believed in Jesus Christ and received the mind and Spirit of Christ, it is needful that the new convert also receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  The infilling of the Holy Spirit is subsequent to being born again.  This spiritual fact is clearly set forth in the scriptures. (See Acts 8:5-17)
Justification and sanctification do not occur simultaneously.  They do not both happen in the same instant of time.  The space of time may be short or long, depending upon on the spiritual instruction and understanding of the believer.  The new Christian convert has the Holy Spirit with him but not yet in him, until he is sanctified which is synonymous with being filled with the Holy Spirit or being baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus made it very clear that the world (i.e. a sinner) cannot receive the Holy Spirit.  First, they cannot because they do not know the Holy Spirit.  Second, their heart is defiled and the Holy Spirit will not enter a defiled temple.  The sinner’s heart must first be cleansed by the blood of their sin sacrifice which is Jesus Christ.  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

THE GIFT OF THE SPIRIT BY MEASURE

Let us consider the teaching of those who defend the “One Cleansing” doctrine which teaches that a new convert receives full salvation, i.e. justification and sanctification at the same instant of time at the new birth.

John 3:34, “…God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”

This scripture is interpreted to mean that when God gives the Holy Spirit, He does not do so in parts or measure. In other words, there is not one work of grace in the first measure and then a second work of grace in a second measure. When God gives a new convert the gift of the Holy Spirit, He comes into your soul in His entirety and not in a measure. This error is like many which are perpetrated upon the people by some person(s) who have taken a thought out of context to support their false belief. Let us consider the context of this statement.

 John 3:29-35
29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. 32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. 33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. 34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. 35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. In this passage of scripture,

John the Baptist is speaking specifically about Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom who has come to receive His Bride, the church of God. John rejoiced at the hearing of the Bridegroom’s voice. He told the people that Jesus must increase and that John must decrease. John said that Jesus came from above and is above all. Jesus came from God. He was conceived of the Holy Ghost. He did not have an earthly Father, because it was necessary that our Lamb of God be perfect, spotless and without sin. Jesus was holy through His being sent from God; through His fleshly birth; and, throughout His life on earth. Jesus Christ did not receive the holiness, righteousness or the Holy Ghost in a measure. He had the perfect fullness of His Heavenly Father. 

No other man ever has, is or will be able to make this claim of not having been given the “Spirit by measure.” For mankind to have a sinless sacrifice which could fully atone for everyone’s personal sins and defiled conscience, it was necessary that Jesus come into this world by means of a holy conception. If Jesus had been the offspring of some man, He would have come into this world with a nature which inevitably leads a child to disobedience and sin. Childhood foolishness, disobedience and carnality is not a learned behavior. It is an inherited nature which leads every descendant of Adam into disobedience. Thus the Holy Scriptures accurately state, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” All except Jesus who possessed and retained the holiness of God from beginning to the end of His life on earth and in throughout eternity. 

Ephesians 4:7-16
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 In the confusion created by the “one cleansing” doctrine some have come to believe that it all happens at conversion and others have come to believe that it is a progressive work of many cleansing. It is certain that the Holy Spirit continues to teach us all things and continually anoints and blesses us with spiritual gifts and abilities for the present conditions in our life. However, these many blessings do not cancel the vital necessity of the two cleansing works of grace which God has designed in full salvation.

 Every person is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. If Christ has given you a measure of His grace in justification, walk in the light of that truth. Be obedient to the laws and commandments of Jesus Christ. If Christ has given you understanding of the gift of the Holy Spirit, He requires you to walk in the light of that understanding. A person cannot refuse to walk in the revealed light of truth and maintain the experience of justification. If you have received the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, you must walk in the Spirit and be an example of the child of God who operates under the divine influence and divine nature of God.

 2 Peter 1:3-4
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.